Collaboration in The Online Environment

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Collaboration in the online environment is paramount to students understanding of materials and success in the course. Discussion breeds understanding and students take away more from the collaborative art of conversation. However, it can be a student's worst nightmare. Simply put, every student isn't a social butterfly. Some student's shy away from discussions and activities that involve any type of collaboration. Some student's take a few weeks to get the hang of things and eventually become comfortable enough to progress through the course being social. However, some student's never reach that point and have a tendency to  stay in the background and have minimum anticipation.

Using this week's resources, brainstorm what you can do to promote collaborative learning in the online environment with all types of students. How will you make sure that your students are participating? What will you do when students are not participating? How will handle a student who feels offended by the actions of their group members or member? Develop some guideline for promoting collaboration in the online environment. Feel free to include your personal experiences or add any additional situations that may have occurred that are not mentioned here.

By Wednesday post your initial response to the prompt. By Sunday respond to two other student post. Be sure to sight resources and be thorough in your initial post and responses. See the rubric to view the criteria for how this discussion will be graded.

Discussion Rubric

2 Responses to “Collaboration in The Online Environment”

  1. There are many activities that promote collaborative learning in the online environment. An icebreaker activity can establish the presence of individuals and open the lines of communication for the learning community. Instructors can make sure participants are participating by reading their discussion post and providing feedback in the form of a question.
    If a student feels that another student has offended them or another student is very important that an instructor takes the time to investigate the situation. The instructor should review the reasons why the student feels the way they do as well as review any supporting evidence. Guidelines such as respect all students, respond to discussion post in a timely manner and reframe from using foul language should be stated in the beginning of the class.
    -Shernedra Brown

  2. You discussion questions was well written. I foresee it will promote the quality of post needed in the online environment. Brookfield and Preskil have found the following categorization of questions to be useful for starting and maintaining momentum to discussions:

    * Questions that ask for more evidence
    * Questions that ask for clarification
    * Open questions
    * Linking or extension questions
    * Hypothetical questions
    * Cause-and-effect questions
    * Summary and synthesis questions

    Brookfield, S.D., & Preskill, S.N.(2005). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms(2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass)